Pre-University (CIE) Comparative Government: Specimen Questions with Answers 23 - 23 of 53

Question 23

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‘The Crown is a convenient working hypothesis’. Explain.

Explanation

  • In early days, all the powers rested in the man who wore the crown but in the course of history these powers have been steadily transferred to the kingly institution- the Crown. If we go through the history of two generations ago Walter Bagehot wrote that Queen Victoria could disband the army, dismiss the navy, make peace by cession of Cornwall, begin a war for the conquest of Brittany, pardon all offenders and do other things too fearful to contemplate. Legally, the queen can still enjoy all these powers but all this is in theory.

  • In actual, these and other powers are performed by not the king but the kingly institution termed as crown. Sydney lo says that the crown id the convenient working hypothesis because the flow of all rights and powers is managed through the institution of crown. Historically, the rights and powers of the crown are the rights and powers of the king.

  • In theory this is still the case. In fact, these powers and rights are exercised not by the king personally but by the ministers in the king’s name who derive their authority from parliament and responsible to it.

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